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Loosing Radiator coolant and milky colored coolant... what to do?

This is a discussion on Loosing Radiator coolant and milky colored coolant... what to do? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hey Guys, I have recently noticed that my car is loosing coolant. It is a slow leak and today when ...

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    Loosing Radiator coolant and milky colored coolant... what to do?

    Hey Guys,
    I have recently noticed that my car is loosing coolant. It is a slow leak and today when I checked, it was like three to four inches below the fill line. A friend of mine told me that the cloudy/ milky color might mean that oil is somehow mixing with the coolant. I looked under the car and could not spot any visible leaks and nothing is left on the ground. On a road trip once the car over heated and a local shop said the radiator fluid was leaking out the cap and they sanded it down "fixing the problem." But its still loosing fluid. Any suggestions of what to check before I take it to the shop and get charged an arm and a leg? Thanks guys.. always appreciate the input

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    LS1 Advisor SLP_WS6's Avatar
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    A head gasket rupture is 99% likely. The oil and coolant will mix in the leak, also causing engine overheating.

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    someday joejenkinsglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLP_WS6 View Post
    A head gasket rupture is 99% likely. The oil and coolant will mix in the leak, also causing engine overheating.
    yep sounds like a head gasket

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    Is it hard the change a head gasket myself? I know my basics about cars but am not too advanced Thanks

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    Member sirenformula350's Avatar
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    you are going to have to take the heads off. basically rebuild the top half of the engine. You might want to do a search for a write up on how to do it. If you have never done anything like that before then you might want to find someone who has to give you a hand. let us know how it goes.

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    about how much time should I set apart for something like this because this is my only vehicle to get to work. Also how can I tell which side is the one leaking or do I replace both. What causes this to happen or is it just wear and tear on a 96K motor? It is bad to drive with a blown gasket? Know anyone in the Tulsa area that would give me a hand and make a little cash on the side? Thanks alot Guys

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    someday joejenkinsglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejenkinsglass View Post
    yep sounds like a head gasket
    also check the power steering the ws6 cars have a cooler in the upper rad hose

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    Check your oil. If it looks milky thats what it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JehalinTA View Post
    about how much time should I set apart for something like this because this is my only vehicle to get to work. Also how can I tell which side is the one leaking or do I replace both. What causes this to happen or is it just wear and tear on a 96K motor? It is bad to drive with a blown gasket? Know anyone in the Tulsa area that would give me a hand and make a little cash on the side? Thanks alot Guys
    You're looking at a good 10 hours if you have someone with you that knows what they're doing. And I wouldn't drive with a blown head gasket, more problems will arise.

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    Member sirenformula350's Avatar
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    I had an 89 formula and the head gasket blew on me. Mine was caused by the engine overheating. Its definitely a long job. It would also be a good idea to have the heads checked out to make sure they didn't warp. When it happened to me they both warped slightly and needed to be machined. I wouldn't drive it until its fixed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JehalinTA View Post
    about how much time should I set apart for something like this because this is my only vehicle to get to work. Also how can I tell which side is the one leaking or do I replace both. What causes this to happen or is it just wear and tear on a 96K motor? It is bad to drive with a blown gasket? Know anyone in the Tulsa area that would give me a hand and make a little cash on the side? Thanks alot Guys
    Why in the Tulsa area, I live in Tulsa is why I ask.
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    Hey Guys,
    I think it is my water pump. I saw a stream of coolant this morning and looked under the car and it seems like it is coming from the water pump. So I guess I will now have too check if it is that. Does anyone know if the ls1 has a weaping hole? Thanks
    ps I was wondering if anyone was from tulsa to see if they could give me a hand with that intall but I guess it isnt that

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    someday joejenkinsglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JehalinTA View Post
    Hey Guys,
    I think it is my water pump. I saw a stream of coolant this morning and looked under the car and it seems like it is coming from the water pump. So I guess I will now have too check if it is that. Does anyone know if the ls1 has a weaping hole? Thanks
    ps I was wondering if anyone was from tulsa to see if they could give me a hand with that intall but I guess it isnt that
    that would be better than head gaskets but it doesnt explain the milky coolant

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    Quote Originally Posted by joejenkinsglass View Post
    that would be better than head gaskets but it doesnt explain the milky coolant
    Old Dexcool might look milky to some people. But if oil is mucky too, head gasket is definately it. But since oil PSI is higher than coolant PSI, good oil doesn't prove head gasket is OK.

    Heads, intake and cam time!!

    Sounds like the leaky WP explains the low coolant.

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    Well about a year ago I was on a long road trip and the car over heated.. they checked everything out said it was the radiator cap and put that "radiator no leak" stuff in it. I think that is why the color is possibly milky. A local dealership told me that blown head gaskets are not too common and I go easy on the car. I guess I will see if it is the water pump. Trying to find the weep hole.. but when I looked closely it seemed that it was leaking from behind the pully but it had dried up. Dont want to pay the 45 dollar diagnosis fee at the dealer either.

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    Bad news is that if coolant is in the oil, you shouldn't be running the car as it alters the properties of the oil. I've also heard that coolant does bad stuff to bearings, but thats probably a result of the oil's viscosity changing once its mixed with coolant...

    -Eagle

    PS - I wouldn't drive the car until you get a look at the oil to see if its milky as well.

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    You looking for an engine swap? Then keep driving the car the way it is... We're not trying to screw with you, your problem is going to take a serious repair. I don't doubt your mechanical ability, but I don't think that you have the tools or experience to fix a blown head gasket properly, which is what the problem sounds like. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we all are trying to steer you down the right path. The hack who said he fixed your problem by 'sanding the radiator cap' should be tied behind your car and dragged down the 1/4 mile. Never ever overheat an aluminum block or drive your car when it's overheating! Low coolant = overheat = warped heads & cracked block = blown head gasket. Ask me: I have a 1994 Toyota 4Runner that has gone through 3 head gaskets because of poor engine design - I'm looking to dump it & it was my DD. So much for legendary Toyota reliability. Radiator 'no leak' is notorious for plugging the radiator and small coolant passages. Sure will stop the leak for a while and sure will plug up the cooling passages in the radiator eventually.
    Last edited by Fastcar; 06-18-2007 at 09:57 PM. Reason: added stuff

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    Member sirenformula350's Avatar
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    just a thought... Flush the radiator and do an oil change. Drive it for a couple miles and see what the oil and the coolant look like after that. If all is well keep an eye on it but if the oil becomes a chocolate milk color then DON'T drive it anymore till you get it fixed. That would rule out the possibility that you are just mistaking the "milky" color of the coolant for old dexcool like johnny above said

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    Certain brands of Stop Leak will turn the coolant a milky color as do many Water Pump Lubricants.
    Check your oil.....if you see a frothy milky crud on the dipstick on the filler cap, you have a problem.
    If not.....& it's not been having a overheating issue since they put the stop leak in.....you should be ok.

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